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Canine Nutrition


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Sherry L. Shivley, NetPlaces Network Journalist Award Winner


Old dog? Sick dog? Dog won’t eat? Rainbow stew worked for Merle Haggard and this easy-to-make recipe will have your dog up and eating and begging for more.


I feed a very high-grade nutritious kibble but my old Boxer was not wanting to eat, so to encourage her appetite I began making what I call Rainbow Stew. I call it Rainbow Stew because I throw all the colors of the Rainbow into it. I later discovered it was a song title but if it is good for my dogs, into the crock-pot it goes!


Dogs (and cats) are carnivores. You can’t fool them with fancy dog food labels or fake flavorings. I use chicken, beef, pork or mutton as the main ingredient because (cats) and dogs are carnivores... I add low sodium broth for cooking juices and cook until the meat easily falls apart and the veggies are fork tender. Now comes the fun part!!


Depending on the size of the dog, dice the fruits and veggies accordingly. Add softer foods-like bananas-last or at the time of their feeding so they don’t turn to mush. My friend who feeds all-raw diet adds organ meats and has helped me develop my feeding additions. When I have an animal butchered, I always save the organ meat too. I mix and match veggies and fruits with each batch of stew I make so they don’t get too much of some nutrients and not enough of others.


Start with a crock pot or large cooking pot for the stove. Add your meat and broth, I usually use one box of broth. Now, pick your fruits and veggies to cook with the meat, poultry, or fish.


POTATOES WITH SKIN ON - High in fiber, Manganese, Potassium, Vitamins C, B6.

ASPARAGUS - Trim the stalky ends, Vitamin K, A,B1, B2, C, E, Folate, Iron, Copper, Fiber, Manganese and Potassium.

BROCCOLI FLORETS - Vitamin C & K, Vitamin A, folate, manganese, fiber. Broccoli can flush the body of carcinogens, but it can also block thyroid function, so use it sparingly.

BRUSSELS SPROUTS - Vitamins K, C, A, B1, B6, Manganese, folate and potassium.

CARROTS - Vitamin A, K, C, fiber and potassium. Assists in eye function.

CAULIFLOWER - C,K,B6, folate and choline.

CUCUMBER - Vitamin K (some dogs love it in raw chunks)

EDAMAME - In the Frozen Section of your stores. A Jackpot for your dog’s coat and health! Protein, Iron, Vitamin K, B2, Omega 3 fats, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper and Magnesium.

GREEN BEANS - vitamins C,K,A, Magnanese and fiber, good for weight loss.

PEAS - Snow peas, Snap, or English peas. (shell the English. Vitamins K, C, B1,A, B6, B3,B2, Manganese, Copper, Iron, Potassium, Fiber, Folate, Phosphorus, Protein, Magnesium, Zinc.

SWEET POTATOES - Vitamins A, C, B6, B5, Manganese, Potassium, and Fiber.

SQUASH, ZUCCHINI - High in fiber, Vitamins C, A, potassium, folate.

SPINACH - High in fiber, Vitamins A,K, B2,B6, E, B1, C, Iron, Copper, Zinc, Calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium, protein and choline.

APPLES (DO NOT FEED SEEDS, they are TOXIC!!) - Vitamin C, Pectin to help digestive health.

BLUEBERRIES - High in antioxidants, Vitamins K, C, manganese, copper and fiber.



STRAWBERRIES - Whitens teeth, Vitamin C, B6, iodine, folate, copper, potassium, biotin, phosphorus, magnesium and omega 3 fatty acids.

WATERMELON (NO SEEDS!) - Vitamins A, B6, C, lycopene, antioxidants, amino acids, fiber.

CANTALOUPE (NO SEEDS!) - Aids in hypertension, high in fiber, vitamin C, choline, antioxidants.

BANANAS - Vitamin C, low in sodium, high in potassium.

FRUITS WITH PITS OR SEEDS (ALWAYS REMOVE, THEY ARE TOXIC) - Peaches are delicious and good for your pooch!



GRAPES OR RAISINS - said to cause kidney failure

GARLIC OR ONION - said to destroy Red Blood Cells

TOMATOES - Some say its ok, some say no. Tomatoes and their plant contain an alkaloid called tomatine. As the tomato ripens, it is metabolized, so it is less harmful but the plant remains toxic.

AVOCADO - Contains persin which causes vomiting, diarrhea and fluid around the heart.

MUSHROOMS AND NUTS - Toxic to the dogs system


When In Doubt About Food, Supplements or Additives, Don’t Feed It.

I make a stew every week and store it in the fridge, adding it on the kibble twice a day. Since I started, I can see a difference in my dogs’ coats and my hard keeper is gaining a bit of weight. My chubby boy is maintaining his weight as I reduced his kibble to account for his rainbow stew intake.


I add Kelp to their supper to help clean their teeth and keep their masks naturally dark. (No fake masks on MY Boxers!) They love their home-made meals and I feel better about what is going into their bodies.


Give Rainbow Stew a try. I bet your dogs and cats will love it! See ya around the ring ~ EST 1998 © Jan 2020



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